As we wisely guide our precious children down life’s grand highway, there are many important lessons for us to impart along the way. But nobody ever mentioned that we would have to teach them OVER and OVER and OVER again. And sometimes, the more straightforward the message, it seems the harder it is to learn. Here are some that my kids are really struggling to taken in.
1. The person with the keys goes first
Ok, I get it. You’re thrilled to be home. It’s really important that you’re the first person inside the house. You want to stand with your nose pressed against the fly screen until you get inside. All legitimate, valid viewpoints. But I have the keys. I have to put the keys in the door knob. I have to open the door. AND I CAN’T DO ANY OF THESE THINGS WHEN YOU’RE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE DAMN THING! Every. Single. Time. One day, I’m going to stagger up the front steps, carrying everyone’s bags plus the groceries and there’s going to be a clear path to the front door. Because I will have moved out, unable to cope with the daily door frustration one day longer. (Which doesn’t explain why I’m still carrying everyone’s bags, but hey, let’s face it, a mother’s work is never done.)
2. Car doors open outwards
What is it with you guys and doors? I’ve finally managed to get both of you out the front door, no mean feat in itself and one that has invariably left me ratty, irritable and ratty and irritable. So when I go to open the car door for you, hows about you don’t stand exactly where I am going to clock you in the side of the head when I open it, hmm? Because, I don’t know if I mentioned, but I’m a little ratty and irritable and it’s starting to seem like a not altogether bad idea.
3. There are other toys to play with other than the one your sibling has just picked up
You know, that crappy little toy that you probably got in a McHappy Meal which has been festering in the depths of the toy box for months without a second thought from you? But that now that your sister has picked it up, is the only thing in the house you can possibly play with and how cruel she is to not want to share it with you immediately? Yes, that one. PICK ANOTHER TOY.
4. Nobody in our home is hard of hearing
So let me just explain it one more time. There’s whispering. Then there’s a nice, pleasant level of speech at which one is able to be heard. Then there is shouting. And then there’s you, my darling chickabooboos, many, many decibels above that. Just… engaging in general chitchat. FOR CRIPES SAKE, CAN YOU JUST PIPE DOWN A BIT?! Oh, I’m sorry, did the raising of my voice bother you? I can’t imagine what that must be like.
5. The hallway is not a shoe pit
Well, actually, it is. But – and here is the important bit – it’s NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. It’s supposed to be a nice, welcoming sanctuary where one can delicately place to one side the accoutrements of the day and feel relaxed and at ease. Not where one flings their shoes (and socks and bags) into the air, leaving them to rest wherever they fall for the rest of the family to hobble over to gain access into the main living area. Don’t worry, I’ll just keep reminding you on a daily basis and you can all go on ignoring me…
6. Couch cushions are for the couch
Couch cushions are lovely, squidgy things for laying back on while relaxing on the lounge. Ok, and they’re there to look a bit pretty, too. They are not sacrificial offerings to the Floor God. They are not to be hurled on the ground with abandon, all the better for you to dive-bomb off the couch. (You know you always land in the crack in the middle.) Once cushions leave their neatly designated formation on the couch, they cease to be pretty. They just become More Stuff For Mum To Pick Up.
7. You are not a psychic food whisperer
I have never served you this food stuff before, so how can you possibly know you don’t like it? How can you be so very, very sure? And if you do have such impressive prophetic abilities, why can you never foresee that table/door/shelf that’s directly in your path before sprinting headfirst into it?
8. You only have one stomach
There isn’t a separate little vestibule where dessert goes. So if you’re so desperately full that you can’t eat another bite of broccoli, please don’t beg for a squeezie yoghurt one minute later. I’m onto you…
What life lessons are taking your kids (or you) a long time to learn?